Sunday morning cruizin’

The Barky Boys are fashionistas.

They know which shoes mean, “Mommy’s going to work” and which shoes mean, “Mommy’s going to work out.”  They also know, lately, when Mommy gets dressed to work out, they’re going to get dressed and work out, too.

They love this, and so do I.

We headed out the door this morning just before sunrise.  The terrier was so hyped up that even before we had left the driveway, we were a huge tangle of leashes and legs.  One of my neighbors was walking by and he said, “Wow, you’ve got a handful!”

I laughed because it was true.  Ordinarily, the dogs are really good about staying untangled and complying with my one word commands, “Street,”  “Sidewalk,” and “Stop.”  Once I got all of us untangled, we headed on down the street.

Quixote was doing his neurotic backward glances that always make me hyper-aware of what might be coming up behind us.  Panza, oblivious to the terrier’s continuous tugging, stopped whenever he wanted to snuffle a new scent.  Blanco Villa, thankfully, has begun to settle down on our walks and doesn’t tug on the leash as much.  He still gets riled up when one of the neighbor dogs starts barking, but he’s becoming a good companion to the other two.

I’m not sure what it was about this morning that was so incredibly relaxing.

It could be because I talk to my dogs while I walk.  Not about anything in particular or terribly profound.  I hear myself: soothing voice, encouraging words.  I call the commands quietly, they respond.  When one looks stressed (normally Quixote), I call “Stop” and everyone gets a hug, a scratch behind their ears, and a pat on the hiney before we head off again.  We don’t walk slowly, either.  Blanco Villa normally sets the pace.  Even though two of them are 6 years old (BV’s 2), all three are still fairly young and so my goal over the next several months is to get them to the point where they can walk with me to the high school and back.  That’s a little over 4 miles.

It could be because the weather has been slightly cooler and less humid the last couple mornings.  I love cool mornings.  It’s almost like the freshness of the air invigorates my brain.

Or it could be simply because it’s the morning and the day is still full of possibilities.

I started loving early predawn mornings when I was 13 and at summer camp.  We hiked a mountain (not sure of the elevation) to watch the sunrise.  I remember hating the climb and wanting to quit, go back down, and climb back into bed.  One of the counselors turned to me and said, “Sure, you can go back down.  But you’ll be going alone and we’ve spotted bears up here.  Do you want to take the chance of running into a bear?”  In the end, I was very glad I stuck with the rest of the group and made it to the top.

Was it the accomplishment of finishing the climb or was it the view of the sun peeking over the tops of the surrounding mountains that made that morning special?  I’ve always said it was the memory of the sunrise.  Looking back at the experience now, I think it was a combination of both the climb and the sunrise.

I’ve made it to the top of many “mountains” since that summer morning.  Each journey on the way up has been hard.  The reward at the end of the climb as always been the same: that moment was the best moment of my life!

So maybe this is why I enjoy mornings so much.  Each morning gives me an opportunity to look at the road ahead and focus on the reward that’s waiting for me at the journey’s end.  Whatever the reason, I enjoyed starting the day with my poochies.  Their company made this morning even more special.

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